Botany Libraries


The Botany Libraries include the Gray Herbarium Library, a portion of the Arnold Arboretum Library, the Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, the Economic Botany Library of Oakes Ames, and the Oakes Ames Orchid Library. The libraries are integral components of the Harvard University Herbaria's collections of plant specimens. The combined library collections are rich repositories of books, journals, manuscripts, field notes, correspondence, images, artifacts, and other media that document the discovery, identification, systematic and geographic relationships, and uses of plants and fungi. Materials date from the 15th century to the present and coverage is world-wide.


Library of the Arnold Arboretum

Farlow Reference Library
of Cryptogamic Botany

Library of the Gray Herbarium

Economic Botany Library
of Oakes Ames

Oakes Ames Orchid Library

Botany Libraries Archives


The Botany Libraries Archives is the Harvard University Herbaria's repository of historical papers, images, and institutional records.  The materials in our archives come from the following collections:

The Arnold Arboretum
The Bailey-Wetmore Wood Collection
The Botanical Museum Collection
The Economic Botany Herbarium
The Farlow Herbarium
The Gray Herbarium
The Henry David Thoreau Herbarium
The New England Botanical Club
The Oakes Ames Orchid Herbarium Archives
Paleobotanical Collections
The Rudolph and Leopold Blaschka Glass Flower Archives
The Tina & R.Gordon Wasson Ethnomycological Collection Archives

Also check out our digital collections!

Recent classes at the Botany Libraries include Vascular Plant Taxonomy Lab, Plants of Ritual: Creating a Spiritual Connection to the Designed Landscape and Tree.

Staff Services

  • Assistance with presentation of materials in class
  • Assistance with selection of materials

Technology Available

  • Computer and data projector
  • DVD player
  • Wifi
  • VHS video player
  • CD audio player

Administrative Information

  Class limit: 20

The Botany Libraries does not have a publicly available calendar. When making a request, please submit with your preferred times and a staff member will get back to you.